A Crowning Glory

If I were asked why I wear my hair long then I would have to say it's because I love long hair. I've tried short hair and it just doesn't feel 'right' - it's not 'me'. Recently on two long hair forums that I visit the question was raised: Long hair: Religious or personal reasons?

The answers once again caused me to reflect on my long hair journey.

I penned these words when I started my long hair journey over two years ago: I think long hair is a blessing. Down throughout the ages – almost without exception – women have worn their hair long. In the Bible the apostle Paul described long hair as a woman’s ‘crowning glory’. And I still remember the time a friend referred to mine the same way. Even now it still makes me glow!

I believe it is a privilege – a God-given privilege – for a woman to be able to wear her hair long. I’m not saying that every woman can or should have long hair, just that it is a special gift that God has given to women. My goal now is to learn to love my hair at whatever stage it’s at and to see it truly become ‘a crowning glory’.

Since that time I've reflected on what God says about our hair. Not surprisingly the time came when I was troubled by the use of head coverings in 1 Corinthians 11: 5-7, 10, 13-15:

But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. ... For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. ... Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

I've discovered that there seems to be several different camps of interpretation:

Camp One: Those that believe this was a purely cultural phenomenon and is no longer applicable to our time;

Camp Two: Those that believe that women's hair is the covering and should not be cut - not even trimmed;

Camp Three: Those that believe that women should wear headcoverings during times of public prayer and worship; and

Camp Four: Those that believe it's a principle that needs to be adapted to our time and culture.

I have friends in several different camps but after searching and praying I've arrived at Camp Four. This article helped me clarify some of the issues I was working through.

It's taken me a long time to get to this point. It would have been difficult for me to be different (I'm already different enough as it is) but I would have done it had I felt convicted. But I also know my heart and I was afraid that had I changed some aspect of my outward appearance that there would have come a time when I would be tempted to 'holier than thou' thoughts. It's too easy - for me at least - to be critical in my thinking. I didn't want to wear a headcovering and then end up feeling proud.

Several years ago I would never have considered wearing a headcovering. It wasn't standard practice in our church. It was old-fashioned or legalistic (or at least I thought so). Then God caused me to question the way I skipped over theses verses without really thinking about them. What exactly did they mean?

My understanding of these verses is likely not finished yet. This is a journey God has led me on and this is where He has brought me to so far. I know that some of my readers won't agree with what I've written. It's not my intention to offend anyone. I'm willing to admit that I may not be right. I know I don't have all the answers. But I know too that if I keep an open heart then God can reveal His truth to me in His time.


SchnauzerMom said…
Very interesting article, thanks for sharing it. I'm inclined to agree with you.
BellaMama said…
I have found that God means what he says always. Do I always cover-not even! I would like to, but sometimes it's really too hot, but I wear it when out in public, but not out in our backyard. I am often convicted, but sometimes it seems ok to go without. I think it is something that God reveals to each woman at her own time, pretty much like all other subjects. I also have to listen to my husband: sometimes he likes it, sometimes he says to take it off.
I've felt that covering attracts so much attention, that I don't see myself with a superior/haughty attitude, but praying with every breath that my behaviour may exemplify Christ's!

Ultimately, in the back of my mind is,

"For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels." I Cor. 11:10

I don't understand it, but I wonder alot what we're missing if we are not covering.

Mrs. C.
Jen said…
I had always thought that a woman's long hair was her head covering, but maybe I am just interpreting the scriptures wrong. In the town we used to live in, many women were Apostolic, so they wore head coverings. It was always fascinating to me.
Jules said…
The women in my church used to wear head coverings but the practice had died out before we started attending the church. They also never cut their hair and never wore pants, but now I'm the only one with long hair and one of the few who wears skirts (by choice). There were also other rules such as no television and no going to movie theatres. For whatever reason, none of these rules and practices are adhered to any longer.

I think there's different understandings and interpretations of this passage. I felt God was talking to me about these scriptures and I had to prayerfully and humbly consider what they meant. The conclusion I came to might be different to the conclusions others reach. I don't think though that it's as clear cut as some denominations make out. But again, that's just my opinion based on my study and what I feel God was telling me.
Great post! Congrats.

I'm also long and covered. Have you read "On Account of the Angels" by Elisabet? http://tinyurl.com/yunvw6

Best wishes!
Anonymous said…
The long hair thing is definitely cultural, because most black women, unless they are of significantly mixed blood cannot grow their hair long without chemicals, putting in fake hair or locking it (and that can only be done for about 15 years before it becomes detrimental).

All women can cover their heads, but not all can grow their hair.That said, long hair covering can't possibly be the covering refered to in Corinthians.


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